Wednesday, April 7, 2010

60 WEEKS WITH THE JUSTICE LEAGUE: Week 32

Justice League America #32
Nov. '89
The Teasdale Imperative Part Three
"Breaking Point!"
More confusion and chaos, courtesy of:
Keith Giffen, plot and layouts
J.M. DeMatteis, script
Adam Hughes, pencils
Art Nichols, inks
Bob Lappan, letters
Gene D'Angelo, colors
Kevin Dooley, an officer
Andy Helfer, a gentleman

Justice League Europe #8
Nov. '89
The Teasdale Imperative Part Four
"Showdown..."
At last--!--The conclusion of our JLA-JLE crossover, courtesy of:
Keith Giffen, plot and breakdowns
J.M. DeMatteis, script and hasty departure
Bart Sears, pencils
Bob Smith, inks
Bob Lappan, letters
Gene G'Angelo, colors
Kevin Dooley, shreds all the evidence
Andy Helfer, takes the fall


First, a point of clarification: While the Gray Man was formerly known as just that, it seems that here in "The Teasdale Imperative," DeMatteis is going with Grey Man instead. So there you go. Apologies for not getting that right last week.


This issue of JLA focuses most prominently on the eponymous Teasdale, offering a three-page backstory that reveals he created the vampirism-inducing chemical for Simon Stagg, who in turn kept the formula and then tried to have Teasdale killed. And indeed, Stagg's plan would have succeeded if not for the Grey Man stepping in to save Teasdale's life, seeing in the scientist's chemical weapon a ticket to all the soulstuff he could ever hope to devour. In other words, this really is all Stagg's fault.


With JLE offering the story's last act, the proverbial shit gets very real indeed. The zombie horde stands at the gates of Stagg's factory, where Stagg has brought the combined JLI for protection. The Leaguers don't particularly care for helping Stagg, but it seems the lesser of two evils considering the alternative is watching six billion people turn into vampires and die; the disease, it seems, is mortal, and as those already vampirified start to die, the Grey Man's power increases--as does his size.


Clumsy as his size makes him, it's perhaps no surprise the Grey Man steps on Teasdale, eliminating half this crossover's villains. As for the Grey Man himself, his defeat is perhaps a bit of a cheat, since the Lords of Order and Chaos unite to put a stop to his antics, which apparently got so out of hand their own livelihoods were threatened.



Despite the deus ex machina, and although Power-Girl would no doubt disagree--she was backhanded by the giant Grey Man and ends the issue hospitalized and comatose--I've gotta say this whole crossover shindig was a terrific idea very well executed, and the oversized cast of characters was expertly handled.


Lots of news to report from the letters pages this time. First from JLA's "Justice Log," we've got cover credits: "Last issue's and this issue's covers were done by Adam Hughes on pencils, Joe Rubinstein on inks, Bob Le Rose on colors, and Sal Mineo on drums." JLE's "Europinion" shares that title's cover credits, as well: "This issue's cover was pencilled by Mr. Sears and inked by Art Nichols (on whom more below), who is also taking over the inking honors on JLA!" As for that reference to "more below," check out the surprise info dropped in JLE's "Next Issue" blurb:

When J.M. told us he had to relinquish his duties on JLE, we wondered who we could get. Well, starting next issue, our new writer will be WILLIAM MESSNER-LOEBS! (Now try telling us Wally isn't portrayed right.) J.M. will stay on JLA and DR. FATE, but next month Bill Loebs and guest artist Art Nichols bring you THE FATE OF POWER GIRL! Guest-starring Kilowog and Superman!


Finally, let's all reminisce about the nutritional merits of "crunchy ninja nets":



The complete 60 Weeks with the Justice League on The Danger Digest:
#1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8, #9, #10, #11, #12, #13, #14, #15, #16, #17, #18, #19, #20, #21, #22, #23, #24, #25/1, #26/2, #27/3, #28/4, #29/5, #30/6, #31/7, #33/9, #34/10, #35/11, #36/12, #37/13, #38/14, #39/15, #40/16, #41/17, #42/18, #43/19, #44/20, #45/21, #46/22, #47/23, #48/24, #49/25, #50/26, #51/27, #52/28, #53/29, #54/30, #55/31, #56/32, #57/33, #58/34, #59/35, #60/36


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Cereal ad copyright Ralston Purina Company and Mirage Studios. All other images this post copyright DC Comics. Original text copyright Jon D. Witmer/The Danger Digest.

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